‘For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world but to save us through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned….’
John 3 vs 17
This verse couldn’t be any clearer – 1. Jesus came to earth in order to save us all, and 2. Anyone and Everyone who believes in Him (Jesus) cannot, and will never be condemned.
Very simple isn’t it?!
So why do we insist on complicating matters?
It’s as though we love to make things as arduous for ourselves as possible! But then again maybe the reason we unnecessarily ‘strive’ for salvation is because deep down it isn’t salvation we’re yearning for at all.
Is it salvation we’re striving for or material blessings?
After-all the bible clearly tells us so many times in the new testament that as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are assured of both God’s Unconditional Love and our place in Heaven. Indeed Jesus says that nothing /nobody can take us out of His or His father’s hands. If Jesus himself says this then why on earth do we continue to ‘work’ for our salvation???
Maybe it isn’t salvation that’s uppermost on our minds, but material blessings – financial wealth, marriage, cars, houses, etc etc. There is of-course nothing wrong with wanting the finer things in life, but when such desires become the main factor in our relationship with God there’s a problem.
A few weeks back a friend of mine told me something I’m finally, all-be-it agonisingly, beginning to understand.
“Segun, the problem is not the pastors. The problem is Nigerians. Let me give you an example. At my church the pastor takes the message of Grace very seriously. But when he’s preaching the Gospel on Sundays most people are half asleep – bored out of their minds because they’re not being motivated. But as soon as he starts telling them “you will be blessed” they all wake up, get on their feet, and raise their hands in agreement, shouting one resounding Amen after another. The problem is Nigerians. They don’t want to hear the Gospel. All they care about is ‘bless me bless me!’.”
My question is this – if we are the problem then how do we change?
It was a statement made by the younger brother of an in-law during a Service of Songs for his dearly departed older sibling a few days ago that brought my friend’s message home with a bang.
“We Nigerians are not the best of people. We go around with our nice cars and fine clothes, and live in swish houses, but deep down we are not good people. All that matters to us is money. Instead of trying to make our country a better place by putting our minds and money together to provide better public services such as healthcare, we think only of me me me”.
Ouch!!! Painful but sadly so true.
Again – how do we change?
1. Here’s a reality check people!
God can give you great ideas. He can give you the vision of where you’re going. He can even bring you the necessary resources, in terms of partners etc. But the planning, the hard work, the focus, and the execution must and can only be done by you. God is not going to throw bags of money at you from heaven. If that’s what you want then please step aside from Christianity and face your babalawo.
Many churches these days are focusing on this message of ‘Excellence’. It’s all well and good, but the reality is ‘Excellence’ won’t come down on you from heaven. ‘Excellence’ is something you cultivate by making a decision, setting benchmarks, and executing. This shouldn’t be preached on Sunday mornings!!
If you’re an ambitious person, then whatever business or career you’re in, strive to be the very best via hard work, investing in yourself, focus, planning, perseverance, and discipline. God isn’t going to do all that for you. You’ve gotta do it yourself!
Yes, God can lift you up, but there’s got to be some substance to lift up in the first place!!
2. Read your bible. Don’t rely on your pastor to read your bible for you. And don’t just listen to/watch podcasts. Read the bible yourself, thereby enabling God to speak with you directly. Jesus says He is The Way, The Life, and The Truth. He also says that His Truth Will Set You Free. In other words by reading your bible more you can and will be set free – by Knowing Who God is, What You Mean to Him, and Who You Are In Christ.
There is so much Love, Freedom, and Power in the new testament. I implore you to make a decision right now to read a chapter of the new testament every morning. Start from the Gospels.
3. One of God’s names is Jehova M’kadesh – meaning God is the one who sanctifies us. In other words let your focus be on how much God Loves You, your unquestionable and irrevocable salvation, then let Him do the rest. He will complete the work he has already started in you.
As a child of God you cannot and will never be condemned. So freely get to know him by spending more time on the Gospel. It is ALL about Jesus.
Jesus says He is the Light of the world. This light is his Love. By spending more time with Jesus, His light (Love) will shine brighter and brighter – not only within you, but in your home, your street, your community, your state, and eventually right across the nation.